UX Design Audit - Meaning, Importance and Process

UX design audit – Meaning, importance and process

Reading Time: 5 minutesImagine you have developed a product with all the bells and whistles, and you are confident that the product is going to rock in the market and be the top performer.

But weeks after you launch it, you find that the product has hardly got any users and people are posting poor reviews. What will you do in such a case?

Is it a failure of your product or your product’s design? This is where you need to have UX design audit.

It is easy to measure if the user loves the design of an app or the website, but it is rather difficult to identify where the design has failed.

There may be several inconsistencies in the design, which may feel isolated at first, but they all are connected. These inconsistencies are identified during the UX design audit phase.

In this article, we are going to dive deep into understanding what is UX audit, how it helps businesses to improve their performance and how should designers conduct an audit.

Meaning of UX design audit

Meaning of UX audit

A UX design audit is an important part of the design evaluation and structuring process. Think of it as a health check of your product. It ensures that the product is performing consistently across all channels and it is meeting all expectations.

UX design audit helps to discover usability problems by research and analysis. It helps in pinpointing critical gaps in the user journey that prevents customers from executing the target actions they’re supposed to take.

During an audit, experts review all visual design elements used in the product – be it a website or an app. UX design audit answer crucial questions like:

  • What is the friction users experience in their customer journey?
  • How do these frictions influence customers’ behaviour?
  • Where is that point users leave a website or a product?

The variety of methods used during the UX design audit allows one to view problems from different angles and find their most likely reasons.

Why UX design audit is important?

  • Check whether the designs are done according to the “best practices” or not. 
  • Evaluate a particular component or workflow and how they are interacting with the other components.
  • Identify the opportunities for improvement by analyzing what works, what doesn’t and what might be missing.

Benefits of UX design audit

Benefits of UX audit

1. Relying on data to improve designs

During a UX Design Audit, experts collect all available data at the start of the project and in case your product doesn’t have any past data, they advise you on deploying tools you should use to gather more useful info.

This way, by using data, they take the guesswork out of the design.

2. Learning how actual users behave

During UX Design Audit, auditors conduct user testing to get to know it from the user’s perspective. Here, they analyze whether the product meets user goals, errors encountered by users and compliance with business standards like Nielsen heuristics.

3. Savings in development costs and increase in profits

The design first approach is beneficial to cut development costs as well as time, and by improving the designs first, you can invest much less during the development phase.

Also, by improving the messaging, user flows and streamlining on-boarding you’ll make users understand your product faster, increase conversion and result in a higher Net Promoter Score, lower churn rate and increased number of referrals.

How to conduct UX design audit?

How to conduct UX audit

As you are now familiar with what UX design audit is, let’s understand how can conduct it effectively.

1. Understand business objectives

You cannot find out whether the product is aligned with the business objectives unless you don’t know them in the first place. Before starting out any project, be it design or audit, it is imperative for designers to understand the goals a business wants to achieve.

The best way to do this is by conducting stakeholder interviews, which involve key people from different departments, that are concerned with the product or website’s performance. This would include the CEO or the founder, Chief Product Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Product Owner, Product Manager, Marketing Manager and people from the Sales and Customer Support team.

This way, you can have a holistic view of the website, and understand what is the importance of the product to each of them. After that, you can start assessing whether the product is meeting the set benchmarks or not.

2. Learn what users want

The second step after understanding the business objectives is getting to know about the users and what they expect from the product. You can learn about their behaviour and product usage patterns by conducting usability tests and also conducting interviews, and take surveys to know what features they like and want to have in the product.

By doing this you can dive deeper into understanding their psyche and evaluate the product from a perspective to check whether it is meeting their needs or not. You can also prepare user personas based on the information you collected to identify their pain points and try to mitigate them by identifying the gaps and fixing them.

3. Drill down into analytics

If you are evaluating a website, then it is highly likely that the client would have set up Google Analytics. And if they have a product, you should ask whether they are using any product analytics tool like Pendo, Appcues, Mixpanel etc. 

The data obtained from them is a goldmine and you can quickly identify the user demographics which features or pages users are using the most and least, what paths are they taking and much more. You can then quickly identify the issues, look for anomalies and get started.

4. Conduct the audit

After you have understood the business objectives, and user’s needs and have enough data to work with, it is now time to conduct the UX design audit.

Here, the experts, better known as UX auditors analyze your product from six different aspects:

  1. User Experience – Heuristics, Flows, Usability Metrics, Interactions
  2. User Interface – Design System, Visuals, Design System
  3. Performance – Technical performance, cross-platform compatibility and marketing funnels
  4. Branding – Guidelines, Identity, Communication, Differentiators
  5. Customer Experience – Behaviour, Reputation, Satisfaction, Engagement
  6. Inclusion – Inclusivity, Ethics, Sustainability

You have to thoroughly assess the product against the set benchmarks of any or all of these above six aspects. Throughout the process, you should take notes and screenshots detailing each and every challenge or pain point encountered.

5. Report your findings

Once the audit is concluded, you have to collate all the data and analyze it to extract insights into where the room for improvement lies. This information should be well presented in a document that is concise and clearly communicates the findings to your client.

Not only this, but you should also provide actionable recommendations, which will help your client to implement and measure their impact. It should be clear how each recommendation can be implemented and what it will do to help meet business and user objectives.

Summing It up

UX design audit is a highly crucial procedure that you need to perform to assess the reasons behind the gap between your expectations and actual product performance. 

It is an investment that will pay you the best returns by optimising the performance of your product and revitalizing it to generate more revenue, boost customer loyalty and enhance user satisfaction.

With our professional UX Design Audit services, you will find errors that can be fixed and explore new ways to enhance your ROI. But that’s not it. You need to implement the suggested improvements too.

Do you think your product requires improvements? Contact Octet Design Studio now and we will help you conduct a professional UX audit and product redesign.

Creative Director and Founder of Octet Design Studio- Aakash Jethwani
Aakash Jethwani

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